Galatians 4:1-7 - I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the Law, to redeem those who were under the Law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
When we were children, knowing what to do seemed easy. There was a list of things that were wrong—don't fight, don't lie, don't hit, don't steal—and a list of things that were good—eat your vegetables, do your homework, say thank you. Between those two lists, we had life covered.
But for adults, it's more complicated. For example, what should you do when a corrupt government official demands a $5,000 bribe before he will allow a young child to rejoin his family in America? Should you pay up? Should you refuse, and leave the child alone in that country? And what if you have no money anyway?
God has trusted us as adult believers in Jesus to deal with complicated situations, always relying on the wisdom of the Holy Spirit and the forgiveness Jesus won for us on the cross. We can love God "with all our minds" as we figure out the right thing to do, praying and searching the Scripture and consulting with other Christians. Indeed, we must do this, because many problems can't be solved by simply ticking off a checklist. As Paul says, "Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature" (1 Corinthians 14:20).
In fact, God Himself found a creative solution when humanity first fell into sin. He could have wiped us all out, which was what we deserved. But that didn't work well with God's love for us. Or He could have ignored our sin and let us go on our merry way. But a holy God can never treat evil as if it did not matter.
God found a third way. The evil would be punished, yes; but He arranged to have the worst of it all on Himself. He took on human nature so that He Himself could pay the price and die. And then, with both justice and love satisfied, Jesus rose from the dead, freely and joyfully offering everlasting life and adoption as God's children to everyone who will trust in Him. Jesus' third way is our salvation.
By the way—that corrupt official? He turned out to be easily impressed by a fancy letter on parchment with gold seals, red ink, embossing, and every title or degree we possessed written after our names. We didn't tell a single lie. We didn't have to. And he let the child go free—to his parents.
WE PRAY: Dear Lord, give me wisdom to know what You would have me do. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. Is it easier or harder to make decisions now that you are an adult?
2. What is a difficult situation you have dealt with in your life?
3. When has God given you wisdom at a difficult time?
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